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PRESS RELEASE

November 8, 2004

Jacob DiPietre
(850) 488-5394 or
MacKay Jimeson
(850) 245-0413

Governor Bush Addresses Community College Conference on Information Technology

TAMPA — Governor Jeb Bush today addressed more than 3,200 community college educators, administrators and technology specialists at the 2004 League for Innovation in the Community College's "Conference on Information Technology." Touting Florida's Community College System as one of the best in the nation, Governor Bush credited the vision and hard work of educators and administrators and celebrated the close partnerships and working relationships between our community colleges and the business community.

"Florida's businesses are leading the way in innovation and technology. Ideas come to life when employees have the skills to drive them forward. Our community colleges are creating that workforce in our state, and are one of the unsung heroes behind Florida's economic development revolution," said Governor Bush.

With an array of topics covering the information technology spectrum, the League for Innovation's annual conference, which concludes on Wednesday, showcases cutting edge innovations and offers a diverse program with renowned speakers from across the nation including Steven I. Cooper, Chief Information Officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Carol Twigg, Executive Director of the Center for Academic Transformation, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Conference presentations address emerging educational technologies, leadership and organizational development, and workforce partnerships and collaborations.

To ensure Floridians have access to the careers of the 21st century, and that Florida will have the skilled workforce required to realize dreams of a high tech future, Florida's Community College System received a record increase in funding this year.

"Florida's Community College System is taking an aggressive approach to integrating technology to enhance the student's educational experience," said David Armstrong, Chancellor of Florida's Community Colleges and Workforce Education. "We are creating the kind of workforce Florida needs to continue to attract high wage, high value jobs and our educational system is adjusting curriculum to meet the emerging needs of the economy and job market."

Florida community colleges serve more than 800,000 students each year and lead the region in retention and graduation rates among members of Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). Under the leadership of Governor Bush and Commissioner of Education John Winn, Florida's educational system is preparing tomorrow's workforce for the most demanding and exciting career fields and providing the critical link from our education system to our job market and economic development.